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Africa Cup of Nations

Who has won the most Afcon titles?

17:27 GMT+3 11/12/2021
Egypt celebrate winning Afcon title.
Egypt, with seven trophies to their name, are the most successful nation in the competition since its inauguration in 1957

As the continent is preparing for another African Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals, GOAL takes a look down memory lane with the Egyptian team that has won the most titles.

The Pharaohs are among the participants in the competition next year and will be hunting for their eighth title - they are currently on seven, the most titles by a nation so far.

Egypt won their first Afcon trophy in 1957 - the inaugural tournament - when most African countries were yet to gain independence. They faced their southern neighbours, Sudan, in the first game, which was the semi-final as only three teams participated.

They won 2-1 against Sudan, courtesy of goals from Raafat Attia and  Ad-Diba. In the final, the Pharaohs faced Ethiopia and won by a huge margin of 4-0, and Ad-Dida, - who also scored in the ultimate tie - emerged as the top scorer with five goals.

They defended the title in 1959, when again only three teams - Ethiopia and Sudan were the others - participated and the Pharaohs emerged undefeated, just like in the inaugural competition.

The Pharaohs became the champions for the third time in the 1986 tournament in which they were the hosts. They lost to Senegal in their opening game by a 1-0 scoreline but won the other two remaining group games against Ivory Coast and Mozambique with 2-0 margins.

After topping Group A, they faced Morocco and beat them 1-0 in the semi-final and booked a place in the final for the first time since 1962.

They faced Cameroon, who boasted big stars like Roger Milla, but emerged 5-4 winners in the penalties after the game ended in a goalless draw.

In the 1998 Afcon finals, Egypt won their fourth title in Burkina Faso.

They were in Group D alongside Mozambique, Zambia, and Morocco. The Pharaohs defeated Mozambique 2-0 with goals from Hossam Hassan, before picking up a 4-0 victory against Zambia, where Hassan registered a hattrick.

However, they lost 1-0 against Morocco when Mustapha Hadji scored late in the second half, but the defeat did not deny them a place in the quarter-finals as they advanced as runners-up in the group.

In the quarter-final, they won 5-4 in the shoot-out against Ivory Coast after a 0-0 draw, and they advanced to the semis for the first time since 1986. They defeated Burkina Faso 2-0 with Hassan again providing a top performance as he scored the two winning goals.

In the final, they faced South Africa - the defending champions - and took the title courtesy of a 2-0 win.

Back-to-Back Titles

Egypt waited until the 2006 finals, where they hosted the tournament, to bag another title. Together with Libya, Morocco, and Ivory Coast, they were placed in Group A where they emerged as pool winners.

In the opening game, Egypt defeated Libya 3-0, then drew 0-0 against Morocco before dispatching star-studded Ivory Coast 3-0. They faced DR Congo in the quarter-final and won by a 4-1 margin to book a place in the semis. 

They booked a place in the final - where they met initial group rivals Ivory Coast - after beating Senegal 2-1 in the semis.

Ivory Coast and Egypt were unable to find a goal to separate them within regular time and in the extra time, meaning the winner had to be determined from spot kicks.

The Pharaohs took a 4-2 penalty shoot-out victory to claim their fifth title - the third title won as hosts.

Egypt were in a group with Cameroon, Zambia, and Sudan in the 2008 finals in Ghana. The defending champions defeated Cameroon and Sudan by 4-2 and 3-0 margins, respectively, and drew Zambia 1-1 in the final group encounter.

They met Angola and emerged 2-1 winners in the quarters before beating Ivory Coast 4-1 in the semis. The North Africans thus booked a place in the final, where they faced and defeated Cameroon 1-0 courtesy of Mohamed Aboutrika's goal that handed them the sixth title.

Egypt last lifted the title in 2010, when the competition was held in Angola. In Group C, they faced off with Nigeria, Benin, and Mozambique and won all three matches.

In the quarters, they face the Indomitable Lions and won by a 3-1 scoreline after extra time. Algeria were their semi-final opponents, and the Pharaohs progressed after a huge 4-0 win against their North African rivals to book a third consecutive final berth.

They lifted their record seventh title by beating Ghana 1-0 in the final. Egypt became the first nation to win three consecutive titles and remained the most successful team in the competition.

All information is accurate at the time of publication.